I saw my counselor/life coach (we'll call her P going forward) for the first time last week and I'm so glad that I decided to go with her. We just.... clicked. She's a little left of center, but then so am I, so I think we'll work well together.
Her home office was so peaceful and safe. I sat in the living room of her chalet style home, curled up on her couch, covered in a thick blanket, in front of the fireplace. We talked for an hour and a half about my concerns, my background, my hobbies; a general getting to know you. She told me about herself, about what she has planned for my sessions, and we did some breathing work (which the yogi in me loves).
We didn't get into any of the nitty gritty quite yet, but she did assign me some "homework". The first thing she asked me to do was to start a gratitude journal, focusing on what I am grateful for about myself. Writing that I'm grateful for my daughter, my husband, my family, our health, my home? That would be easy. Finding what I'm grateful for about myself is HARD. She wants 5 a day, and I'm definitely reaching, but I can see the value in really searching for these things. Still though, it's difficult.
Secondly, I'm supposed to work on my breathing. The yogi in me is very happy about starting to focus on this again. It really helps me clear my head for a moment, and I really need to make the effort here. It's amazing how good it can feel to stop for a moment, close your eyes and just take a few deep breaths.
I'm also supposed to track my internet usage. We talked about all the things I do to keep my mind busy and off of the bad stuff, and internetting is one of those things. Unfortunately, it's become a bit of an obsession, and it takes me away from doing other things, so it's something I'll have to learn to moderate. She also told me to turn off the TV (which I don't watch, but usually have on for background noise) and switch to some calming music (I have Christmas carols on right now), and she suggested that I nap with Adelaide as much as possible since it's the thing that I look forward to most in the day. It's also one of the only times that I get a restful sleep, because through the night I toss and turn like crazy.
I'm just hoping that she will help me address my specific fears, and hopefully teach me some coping mechanisms, since the "problem" itself can't be solved. I'll know better how this will be handled over the next few sessions.
She's big on energy and calming the mind, which is perfect for me. We're also going to look at my diet and she'll help me to take a more holistic approach, which is GREAT because I've been wanting to do that anyway.
So, I'm still optimistic about it. I'll see her again this weekend (hooray for Sunday appointments), and we'll really get started. I do notice a difference just in knowing that I'm doing something to help myself. I'm definitely still battling some demons, but I'm finding more smiles through the day.
While I've been open and honest with my husband and parents that I'm struggling with some internal demons right now, I haven't been able to tell anyone exactly what's bothering me. I have a very specific fear that I can't seem to overcome, that there is no resolution to (I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true), and that I'm starting to think will hang over my head from now on.
The funny thing is, it's something that has always "freaked me out", and is/was the topic of a lot of nightmares, but for some reason it has morphed into this all consuming fear that hangs over me every single day, just sucking the joy out of almost everything.I can actually remember the exact date it suddenly became an almost obsessive thought.... and I now think of everything in terms of before and after that day. I thought (and hoped) at first that it was just a combination of PPD and my tendency for depression and OCD, but after over 4 weeks on medication (having it bumped to a double dose last week) I'm not sure that PPD has anything to do with it. I don't think anti-depressants are really the answer here.
Here's my problem. I don't want to talk to anyone about it because I don't want to give my fears a voice. Part of me feels that by bringing it up, I will somehow give it power. More specifically, I also fear that the anyone I talk to about it may inadvertently say something to make my fear worse, like "oh yeah, I think about that all the time and it really freaks me out too". While well meaning, it wouldn't make me feel any better. In fact, I know there's nothing anyone can say to ease my fears, because it's out of any one's control. It's not something that can really be faced, or solved. It just... is.
Even in those moments that I find laughter, there's a pit in my stomach because I am so afraid. This particular fear is everywhere. It's coming up in the news, was mentioned in 2 of the only television shows I watch, and was even part of a cartoon I had on in the background while I was cooking the other night. I can't escape it, solve it, face it, or control it in anyway, and I'm just tied up in knots. I panic whenever it's mentioned and have to close my eyes and tune everything out in order to avoid a full blown panic attack. It's all my power not to run to my bedroom and curl up in a ball. If I didn't have a sweet, sweet baby to look after, I would no doubt be exactly there 99% of the day.
I'm tired. I'm tired of trying to fight off the monsters in my head, and trying to avoid the monsters in real life. I just don't see a solution, and I'm so scared (and almost certain) that I'll have to live like this from now on. I want to start really enjoying life again... not just finding moments of joy among the anxiety.
I'm really reluctant to write this post, but I think I need to do it if for no other reason that the power of positive thinking. I think I'm turning a corner emotionally. I'm certainly not 100%, but I'm having more and more good moments... not finding it quite so hard to get out of bed every single day. I'm not feeling quite so hopeless.
I followed up with my doc this afternoon and she upped my dose of the antidepressant, and suggested that I speak with a professional (I'll be in contact with a Psychologist tomorrow). She wasn't quite satisfied that the medication was doing the job at the original dose, which was as low as it goes because I'm nursing.
I'm still being careful, trying not to expose myself to any triggers, but something is definitely changing. I just hope that this is the beginning of the end of this particular slump. I'm ready to start feeling better so I can enjoy the last 2 months of my maternity leave and go back to work in a positive frame of mind.
I started taking the anti-depressant about a week ago. I was informed that it would take at least 2 weeks to start feeling any improvement and 6-8 weeks to reach full effect, so I'm waiting.
Last week was bad. Really bad. Especially near the end of the week. I had this awful pit in my stomach and barely dragged myself out of bed. The fears I have right now are so irrational, I feel like a fool. Although irrational is perhaps the wrong word. In any case, they are completely, 100%, TOTALLY out of my control, or anyone else's at this point, and I wish I could let them go just for that reason. There's no use in living under their black cloud when I can't ever do anything about them, no matter how bad they might be. I just can't seem to move on. These thoughts are constantly in the back of my mind, hovering over me 24/7, like a bad dream that I can't wake up from. It's really wearing on me.
Fingers crossed that these pills do what they are supposed to. If I'm taking them, they better work. That's all I can say. I'm so ready to start feeling better, I'm just not having any luck on my own, not matter how hard I try.
I went to see my family doc this week about my depression and anxiety. She basically confirmed what I was suspecting in that it's likely postpartum depression. She prescribed a (nursing safe) anti-depressant, and wants me to come back and see her at the beginning of November to check up on the situation.
I haven't filled the script yet because I'm nervous about taking anything while I'm breastfeeding (I'm nervous about taking most things in normal situations anyway). While my doctor assures me that it's safe, I'm going to do some research of my own just to ease my mind.
I have a husband that defies all logic. He cooks, he cleans, he takes care of the yard, he waits on me hand and foot, he never gets mad at me, he actually argues with me over who gets to take care of the baby. He's amazing.
I have a beautiful, healthy baby girl who is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. She's happy, and growing like a weed. She changes every day and makes me smile all the time. I really truly can't believe how much I love her.
I have a home, my awesome family is healthy, I have my pups and I'm picking away at my degree.
My life sounds pretty good right? And it is. I know how lucky I am, and I wouldn't give them up for the world. But.....
I'm struggling. This happens to me from time to time, and usually it passes. Last year was an exception when I lost my job. I remember feeling like I was in a really deep hole that I just couldn't climb out of. I don't ever want to get back to that low, it was the worst I've ever been, but at least at that point, I knew the reason for it. I knew, deep down, that one day I'd have a job again and I'd be able to "get over it". This time, I can feel myself slipping into that hole again, with almost unbearable anxiety and depression over things that are completely out of my control and that there really may be no solution to.
I'm not sleeping, I'm on the verge of tears a lot of the time, my stomach is in knots, I have panic attacks.... and I can't concentrate. I'm simply having trouble finding any joy. If it weren't for Adelaide, I'd probably be in bed under the covers for 99% of the day. She's my only reason to smile.
I realize that it's time to get help. With my family's history of mental illness, I know that I can't let myself get worse without doing something. I don't know what form of help I need yet, but I'm starting by talking to my doc. I'm hoping she'll refer me to a Psychiatrist and I can go from there. I don't know if I'll need medication to handle things (I'd like to avoid that if possible) or if there are some coping strategies she might be able to help me with.
Something's gotta give. I have to find a way to handle these thoughts and anxieties so that I can live my life and fully enjoy my daughter. I'm willing to try anything to get back to "normal".
I've clearly been neglecting my little blog this year. I was shocked to pop over and see that my last posts was so many months ago. How things have changed since then.
Well, it's high time I start posting again. I'll reserve baby and parenting related stuff for my other blog (which I started for the sole purpose of having somewhere to get my thoughts on "paper") and try to start posting reviews and other random stuff here again.
2011 was a year of ups and downs to say the least.
In February we decided to investigate moving out east or even overseas while I finished my business degree. After much research I applied the UPEI and anxiously waited to hear back. Unfortunately, because of the way the University handles transfer credits, I was unable to accept my position in their program without setting myself back by over a year academically. We were definitely disappointed, and still talk often about moving there sometime soon.
In April we went on our first all-inclusive vacation to Cuba. To say that we loved it would be the understatement of the century. We enjoyed every single second of swimming, eating, drinking, relaxing, reading, snorkelling, scootering and sleeping, and we can't wait to go back.
In May, I attended my first book signing with Veronica Roth and Lauren Oliver. I was a total spaz, but it was really cool and got me prepared for the nerdy adventure of a lifetime that was to come later in the year.
In July we spent Canada Day with Weezer and the ever incredible Tragically Hip. They were fantastic as always, and it was the perfect way to celebrate being Canadian.
In August, we spent our vacation at "camp" with my Dad and step-mom just outside of Thunder Bay. While we never seem to have great weather while we're there, it's still a ton of fun. This year included boating, lots oc campfires, ghost hunting and definitely a lot of beer. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures... but we really had a great time.
September brought with it an epic trip to Decatur (Atlanta) Georgia for the Decatur Book Festival. It was a whirlwind weekend of book love, good friends, good food and nerdy wonderfulness.
I also spent a weekend refinishing my kitchen cupboards which, to most people, would be really boring... but I had wanted to get it done for 3 years, so it was really nice to finally accomplish the task I'd been dreading.
September also brought the most life altering piece of news I've ever received.....
nothing has been quite the same since that exact moment.
After the absolutely amazing news of September, October not only brought first trimester morning sicknss and exhaustion, but also the news that my job was being eliminated. The panic and then almost comatose state that followed brought the longest two months of my life. It wasn't until December that I really started to pull out of it and get back to "normal".
Luckily, November had it's high points as well. First we had an epic trip to Staniel Cay (in the Bahama's) to attend my favorite Uncle's wedding. I still haven't done a full post on that trip and really need to get around to it so I can record it for memory, but here's sneak peek.
Yep- those are swimming pigs. In the wild.
And just one week after returning from our wonderful vacation, we got our first peek at this little thing....
Cute, right?... RIGHT?!
What do you mean it looks like a blob? I think it's the most adorable baby EVER.
December was jam packed with a crazy exam schedule and then the holidays... it just flew by.
So, here's to 2012. The year that I start many new adventures. The year I start a new career, the year I become a Mom and a year of many unknowns. The one thing I know is that 2011 made me stronger, smarter and far more appreciate of the little things. I what I've learned will last.
I know this is late coming. Actually drafted this blog almost 2 weeks ago and didn't publish... so here it is.
While I read disappointingly few books in 2011, I did have a great year in terms of some really great 4 and 5 star reads. As always, I thought I'd recap my favorites, and some disappointments, of the year.